Current as of: 2009
The following words and phrases as used in this chapter have the following meanings unless a different meaning is plainly required by the context:
(1) "Accumulated contributions" means the sum of all amounts deducted from the compensation of a member and credited to his or her individual account in the members' contribution reserve account.
(2) "Active member" means any employee of a participating municipality as defined in this section for whom the retirement system is currently receiving regular contributions pursuant to sections 45-21-41, 45-21-41.1 or 45-21.2-14.
(3) "Actuarial reserve" means the present value of all payments to be made on account of any annuity, retirement allowance, or benefit, computed upon the basis of mortality tables adopted by the retirement board with regular interest.
(4) "Beneficiary" means any person in receipt of a retirement allowance, annuity, or other benefit as provided by this chapter.
(5) For purposes of this chapter, "domestic partner" shall be defined as a person who, prior to the decedent's death, was in an exclusive, intimate and committed relationship with the decedent, and who certifies by affidavit that their relationship met the following qualifications:
(i) Both partners were at least eighteen (18) years of age and were mentally competent to contract;
(ii) Neither partner was married to anyone else;
(iii) Partners were not related by blood to a degree which would prohibit marriage in the state of Rhode Island;
(iv) Partners resided together and had resided together for at least one year at the time of death; and
(v) Partners were financially interdependent as evidenced by at least two (2) of the following:
(A) Domestic partnership agreement or relationship contract;
(B) Joint mortgage or joint ownership of primary residence;
(C) Two (2) of: (I) Joint ownership of motor vehicle; (II) Joint checking account; (III) Joint credit account; (IV) Joint lease; and/or
(D) The domestic partner had been designated as a beneficiary for the decedent's will, retirement contract or life insurance.
(6) "Effective date of participation" means the date on which the provisions of this chapter have become applicable to a municipality accepting the provisions of the chapter in the manner stated in Â§ 45-21-4.
(7) "Employee" means any regular and permanent employee or officer of any municipality, whose business time at a minimum of twenty (20) hours a week is devoted to the service of the municipality, including elective officials and officials and employees of city and town housing authorities. Notwithstanding the previous sentence, the term "employee", for the purposes of this chapter, does not include any person whose duties are of a casual or seasonal nature. The retirement board shall decide who are employees within the meaning of this chapter, but in no case shall it deem as an employee any individual who annually devotes less than twenty (20) business hours per week to the service of the municipality and who receives less than the equivalent of minimum wage compensation on an hourly basis for his or her services, except as provided in Â§ 45-21-14.1. Casual employees mean those persons hired for an occasional period to perform special jobs or functions not necessarily related to the work of regular employees. Any commissioner of a municipal housing authority, or any member of a part-time state board commission, committee or other authority is not deemed to be an employee within the meaning of this chapter.
(8) "Final compensation" means the average annual compensation, pay, or salary of a member for services rendered during the period of three (3) consecutive years within the total service of the member when the average was highest, and as the term average annual compensation is further defined in subdivision 36-8-1(4).
(9) "Fiscal year" means the period beginning on July 1 in any year and ending on June 30 of the next succeeding year.
(10) "Full actuarial costs" or "full actuarial value" mean the lump sum payable by a member claiming service credit for certain employment for which payment is required, which is determined according to the age of the member and his or her annual rate of compensation at the time he or she applies for service credit, and which is expressed as a rate percent of the annual rate of compensation to be multiplied by the number of years for which he or she claims the service credit, as prescribed in a schedule adopted by the retirement board, from time to time, on the basis of computation by the actuary.
(11) "Governing body" means any and all bodies empowered to appropriate monies for, and administer the operation of, the units as defined in subdivision (1) of this section.
(12) "Member" means any person included in the membership of the retirement system as provided in Â§ 45-21-8.
(13) "Municipality" means any town or city in the state of Rhode Island, any city or town housing authority, fire, water, sewer district, regional school district, public building authority as established by chapter 14 of title 37, or any other municipal financed agency to which the retirement board has approved admission in the retirement system.
(14) "Participating municipality" means any municipality which has accepted this chapter, as provided in Â§ 45-21-4.
(15) "Prior service" means service as a member rendered before the effective date of participation as defined in this section, certified on his or her prior service certificate, and allowable as provided in Â§ 45-21-15.
(16) "Regular interest" means interest compounded annually as determined by the retirement board based upon the experience of the system.
(17) "Retirement allowance" or "annuity" means the amounts paid to any member of the municipal employees' retirement system of the state of Rhode Island, or a survivor of the member, as provided in this chapter. All retirement allowances or annuities shall be paid in equal monthly installments for life, unless otherwise specifically provided.
(18) "Retirement board" means the state retirement board created by chapter 8 of title 36.
(19) "Retirement system" means the "municipal employees' retirement system of the state of Rhode Island" as defined in Â§ 45-21-32.
(20) "Service" means service as an employee of a municipality of the state of Rhode Island as defined in subdivision (7).
(21) "Total service" means prior service as defined in subdivision (15) plus service rendered as a member on or after the effective date of participation.
Questions & Answers: Government Employees
Rhode Island Laws: Government Employees
U.S. Code Provisions: Government Employees
Federal Regulations: Government Employees